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Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Imbolc

February 2
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Groundhog Day is when we learn whether there will be an early spring. According to folk wisdom, if a groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter.

This, then, is a day to think about change — or the lack of it — in our lives. It's a perfect time to watch one of our favorite romantic comedies that is a very good portrait of the spiritual practice of transformation.

Here's how to "name this day":

Rent the movie Groundhog Day.

Read our review.

Talk about it with family and friends using the Values & Visions Video Guide.

Another name for this day is Candlemas. Exactly 40 days after Christmas, it is also known as the day of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2: 22 - 29). Traditionally, it is observed by the lighting of candles and processions with candles to symbolize Christ as the Light of the World.

And still another name for this day is Imbolc, the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, an early spring celebrated with fire ceremonies. According to Barbara Biziou, author of The Joys of Everyday Ritual, this day is about purification, creativity, and making commitments.

Watch Barbara Biziou on the meaning of Candlemas and Imbolc.

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Bill Murray in Groundhog Day